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Cherry Blossom Report 2011
Official cherry blossom reports by japan-guide.com

This year's cherry blossom season will be overshadowed by the tremendous loss caused by the recent earthquake. However, we believe that the blossoms will serve as symbols of hope and resilience and a source of motivation along Japan's road to recovery. With this in mind, we never hesitated to go ahead with our annual reports in order to inform travelers in Japan and readers across the world about this year's cherry blossom season.

2011 Cherry Blossom Forecast - Schedule of upcoming reports - Post your own report
Popular cherry blossom spots - How to do hanami? - Cherry tree varieties

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2011/03/30 - Tokyo Report
by francois

The cherry blossoms officially opened in Tokyo two days ago on the 28th, the day after Schauwecker's initial report from the city. Today I visited a number of the same attractions that were visited on the March 27 cherry blossom report.

The current situation in Tokyo is very similar to how it was three days ago: the most common variety of cherry trees, the somei yoshino, are still at a very early stage of development and as of yet are not very attractive, but there are a number of early blooming varieties that are near full bloom that are currently very impressive. With warm weather predicted to continue into the weekend, hanami parties should be quite nice starting from Friday. However, full bloom certainly wont' happen until at least next week.

Ueno Park
March 30, 2011 - just opened (0-10%)

Ueno Park, widely considered the most famous of Tokyo's cherry blossom spots, has only a few of its many flowers opened. The impressive pedestrian walkway that will later have a sea of overhanging petals still mostly consists of small buds and branches.

Flowers have just opened at Ueno park
Flowers have just opened at Ueno park
Most buds are still closed or just opening

Across the expansive park grounds there are hundreds of cherry trees and dozens of different varieties. Visitors who come to the park in the next few days will still be able to find many attractive flowers, such as the komatsu-otome tree in front of Ueno Zoo, the kanhizakura trees beside the Bentendo Hall or the weeping cherry tree at the park's entrance.

The komatsu-otome tree in front of Ueno Zoo
A close up of the komatsu-otome's blossoms
Kanhizakura trees beside the Bentendo Hall
The kanhizakura blossoms have a dark pink color and are clustered very close together
A weeping cherry tree at one of the park's southern entrance

Koishikawa Botanical Garden
March 30, 2011 - just opened (0-10%)

The somei yoshino trees at Koishikawa Botanical Garden are at a similar state of development as those at Ueno Park, though they may be a bit further developed. The garden has about 160 cherry trees, half of which are somei yoshino. The number and varieties of trees are not as extensive as at Ueno, but there are still a few early blooming cherry tree varieties that can be enjoyed now, particularly a small cluster of trees in the park's northern area that includes an oshima-zakura tree and a mame-zakura tree.

Flowers have just opened at the Koishikawa Botanical Garden
The flowers may be on the whole a bit more advanced than those at Ueno
Some early hanami party goers
A nice cluster of early blooming trees that includes the white flowers of the oshima-zakura and the pink flowers of the mame-zakura

Koishikawa Korakuen
March 30, 2011 - opening (10-50%)

The main cherry trees at Koishikawa Korakuen are the early blooming weeping variety, so the park is more advanced than most other cherry blossom spots in Tokyo. With the continuing warm weather the trees should be nearing full bloom by the weekend, though I do not think full bloom will be reached until next week.

Koishikawa Korakuen's central weeping cherry tree has had quite a few flowers open since Sunday
A close up of a weeping cherry's blossoms
The flowers add greatly to the beauty of the garden paths

Shinjuku Gyoen
March 30, 2011 - about to open

My final visit of the day was to Shinjuku Gyoen, where the somei yoshino trees seemed to be at the least advanced state of all the sites I visited. Like Schauwecker on Sunday, I found the park to be surprisingly busy, especially since I was visiting on a weekday. Similar to Ueno Park, Shinjuku Gyoen has a massive number of cherry trees of a number of different varieties, so although the majority of trees are not open flowers are still sure to be found.

A number of picnickers despite the bare trees
The buds at Shinjuku Gyoen have barely opened
Buds and buildings

I checked on the same group of weeping cherry trees near the park's lower pond that Schauwecker was impressed with three days days ago on Sunday. The trees were still very impressive, and are currently at or very near full bloom. Those trees should continue to be very attractive into the weekend, when Shinjuku Gyoen will surely become very busy with visitors.

Weeping cherry trees near the park's lower pond that are near or at full bloom
The blossoms of a weeping cherry tree

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List of Posts:
2011/05/09 - Sapporo Report
2011/05/06 - Hakodate Report
2011/05/02 - Kakunodate Report
2011/05/01 - Hirosaki Report
2011/04/29 - Kitakami Report
2011/04/22 - Aizu Report
2011/04/21 - Sendai Report
2011/04/20 - Fujigoko Report
2011/04/19 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/16 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/15 - Osaka Report
2011/04/14 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/14 - Kanazawa Report
2011/04/13 - Yoshino Report
2011/04/12 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/12 - Okayama Report
2011/04/11 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/11 - Takamatsu Report
2011/04/10 - Osaka Report
2011/04/10 - Matsuyama Report
2011/04/09 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/08 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/08 - Yoshino Report
2011/04/07 - Hiroshima Report
2011/04/07 - Iwakuni Report
2011/04/07 - Nagoya Report
2011/04/06 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/05 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/04 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/03 - Fukuoka Report
2011/04/02 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/01 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/01 - Kagoshima Report
2011/03/31 - Kumamoto Report
2011/03/31 - Fukuoka Report
2011/03/30 - Tokyo Report
2011/03/30 - Kochi Report
2011/03/29 - Kyoto Report
2011/03/28 - Himeji Report
2011/03/27 - Tokyo Report